Fife’s first Graduate Apprentices are heading off to University this week.
School leavers Jake Philp and Jenna Brown started working with Fife Council’s Transportation Service as part of a new scheme that allows young people to work in a role and study for a relevant degree at the same time.
Part funded by the Workforce Youth Investment fund the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to build a career, and provides fully funded training up to Honours or Masters degree level for your new or existing employees.
Frances Ratcliffe, who will lead the GA programme and mentor the students, is a Consultant Engineer with the council’s Roads & Transportation Service, and a former Chair of the Scottish Region of the Institution of Civil Engineers. She explained: “With the current industry-wide shortage of engineers, it is vital to attract young people into this sector. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an engineering degree, and gives a great foundation on which to build a rewarding career.
“As well as their degree Jake and Jenna will finish university with four years work experience so will already be in a better position than a full time student.”
“And from our perspective, we have the opportunity to nurture our own graduates who will leave university already equipped with the skills and experience we need in our particular work area, rather than train inexperienced graduates hired in after graduation. This is really important to address our ageing workforce and build a service that is fit for the future. It is also good value for us as Skills Development Scotland pay the university fees.”
Jake Philp said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given to start a career that’s so interesting to me. Also to be supported through university. I’ve made friends through my whole department and on sites. No day’s been the same so far!”
Jenna Brown said: “The apprenticeship is a great chance for me to work towards my qualification while it also allows me to put my learning into practice in the work place. I have already had many opportunities to get involved in different projects and I know I have full support from everyone on my team.”